27 Nov 2022

RMA replacement consultation timed badly - Napier mayor

11:12 am on 27 November 2022

Napier mayor Kirsten Wise Photo:

The mayor of Napier believes the government is failing in its efforts to consult on important new bills.

Two out the three bills that will replace the Resource Management Act - the Natural and Built Environment and Spatial Planning bills - are out for consultation from now until 30 January.

In a media release, Mayor Kirsten Wise said running the submission period through the Christmas shutdown threw councillors and their communities "under the bus".

"The deadline set by the environment committee is completely unreasonable considering the size and significance of the proposed changes, and the submission period running through the Christmas shutdown period," Wise said.

"We have also just been through an election period, and across the country there are a number of new elected members who will need to come up to speed."

Environment committee chair Eugenie Sage said the bills were open for submissions over eight weeks, not including Christmas, and this was based on the usual six month select committee process.

She said if the council had concerns, it should email environment@parliament.govt.nz to discuss the issue with the committee.

Environment Minister David Parker is the MP responsible for the bills. In a statement, he said the bills had been "well signalled" and "widely consulted".

"The issues and solutions proposed will not come as a surprise to councils or anyone else."

A panel report on the changes for resource management, completed in 2020, was sent to every councillor in the country.

"The government clearly signalled reforms would closely follow the recommendations of the Randerson report, and Labour campaigned on doing that."

He also said a local government steering group was regularly involved.

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